Swim with the Current or Stand Like a Rock?

Stand by Your Principles, but Have Fun Along the Way

Alex Slezak

By Alex Slezak – M.Ed, Youth Fitness Specialist

If you are a young coach, then the 60 seconds you are going to invest to read this will save you a lot of mistakes. If you are a veteran coach, then you will certainly understand the value of what I am about to share.

Thomas Jefferson famously said, “In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.” Now take a minute to read the quote again and let it really sink in. Do you see the wisdom in that saying?

As a fitness professional, you will see styles come and go. If you are around long enough, you will see training with bodyweight, kettlebells, deadweight, elastic resistance, suspension trainers, and all kinds of other fads. These fads are matters of style, and that is not a bad thing, so learn and experiment with them. As trends change, as Jefferson indicated, swim with the current.

However, be careful never to compromise your training principles just to be a part of the latest thing. If you want to be a respected coach, you must develop a core set of beliefs and principles and stand by them like a rock. When you have these principles, then and only then, can you utilize different tools and fads as the means to deliver your training principles. Do not be fooled by letting the “latest thing” dictate your training. Instead, let your principles guide you through the fads and trends as they come.

Think about the heavy hitters in the industry like Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson, Dave “The Band Man” Schmitz, or Steve Long and Jared Woolever from Smart Group Training. These men all have sound principles with which they deliver their training. They never waiver from their principles, and it is why they are so respected in the industry.

So learn a valuable lesson from Thomas Jefferson’s wisdom and invest your time developing rock solid principles to guide you, and have some fun going with the current of the “latest thing” while it lasts.

Alex is a Physical Education teacher and operates a tennis & fitness training business in Pittsburgh, PA. You can learn more by visiting his website at www.AlexSlezak.com.

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